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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Response to the Lansing Association for Human Rights in support of LGBT voters:

Thank you for the opportunity to complete the questionnaire for the LAHR PAC .  I agree that the protection of human rights is an important endeavor.

In my bid for State Board of Education, the human right I am committed to is the need for every single Michigan child to receive an excellent education that prepares them to be responsible citizens.  All our children must be able to read, write and do math.  Did you know that more than 30% of children in Michigan schools cannot read at grade level?  And more than 60% cannot do math at grade level?  The situation is serious and urgent.

The solution lies in our ability to engage and empower parents and to engage excellent teachers.   We must stay focused and determined.  Schools today have incorporated many good initiatives and worthwhile programs that, in and of themselves, can be beneficial.  However, every new program takes time away from the task at hand, teaching reading, writing, math, science and social studies, as well as art, music and physical education.

While I appreciate your concern, the questions you ask are not part of my scope and focus.  My beliefs about same sex marriage, abortion and health care will not affect how I perform my job as a State Board of Education member, as should be true for every board member. 

Sometimes the issue of bullying is paired with sexual orientation, however, I believe bullying must be discussed and discouraged regardless of the cause or motivation of the bully.  Children need to be taught kindness and compassion for every individual regardless of differences, real or perceived.  Children also need to know how to stand up to bullies with a polite but firm response.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective on the important concern of human rights. 

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